Creating an Embossed Letter in StitchArtist

I normally like to create and post “polished” videos – but then there are times like this where I want to show you something that is so super quick I just can’t wait.

Do you like Embossed letter embroidery?  In StitchArtist, all you need to create an embossed letter is the object that is the shape of the frame and the letter that you want to be the hole in the embossing.  As you can see below, I created the letter “E” from a True Type Font and sized it to be the size I wanted.  This shape is from the library of built in shapes but you can create your own as ornate or simple that you want.

Shapes

So the two objects are inside each other – they kind of look like what I want my embossed letter to look like so all I need to do is add the hole in the shape of the E to the polygon shape.  This is so easy to do in StitchArtist that I created a 60 second video showing you how to do this, apply a motif fill AND add a satin border around both the outer and inner edges.

Seriously – done in 60 seconds.  Here’s how:

Now if you are not familiar with StitchArtist, here is the link to the information page.  Although I am in Level 2 in the video – this can be done in Level 1 for those that are just getting into digitizing.

Click Here for the StitchArtist Information page – click on StitchArtist in the left column to read all about this value priced SUPER DUPER EASY software!

Enjoy!


And the voting continues – thanks for your support!

TurtleI am so impressed with all of you for voting for my blog and boosting us to 300 votes!  You really made my day.  I wonder if we can get to 400 votes?  Is that too much to ask?  We have until Wednesday Jan 28th at 11:59PM MST so we shall see what happens in the next two days!

So todays free design is another that I have digitized in Embrilliance StitchArtist and it is an applique design.  There are a couple of different things about this design – the finishing stitches are not the traditional machine embroidery satin stitch.  You will also note when you watch the design stitch out that there are no jumps between the purple legs.  I really don’t like to trim jumps and the machines just stitch faster when they travel vs having to slow down, lock, trim, relocate, lock, and ramp back up to speed.  When you have run stitches that travel instead jumps that trim, the machine will just keep on the speed its going.  So when ever possible I like to incorporating travel stitches into the designs I create – hiding them under stitches that will stitch/cover later.

Both Step1of these items are very easy to accomplish in StitchArtist.  First let’s talk about how to get the pretty motif stitch around the applique pieces.  After creating the shape and choosing applique, I set the finishing stitch to None.  If I am using a fabric cutter, I only select the Position stitch.

Yes, I could simply set this stitch type to a single run since I was planning to not have a material position stitch.  However, I know me – I like to change my mind and setting it to be an applique stitch type gives me to flexibility to quickly add the material option in the future by checking the box.  If I set it to a run and later decided I wanted the second run, I would have to copy and paste and make sure it was in the right order or change it from a run to an applique, set it to none and check both boxes.  So I saved myself some extra work today by setting the shapes to applique none in the beginning.

Step2OK, so I have no finishing stitch – how do I get that?  I drew a line around the top part of the shape only along the outer edges and set it to a motif run.  Because it was an open path, The decorative stitch of the turtle shell was going to cover the spots where the head and legs connected anyway!

Step3And since the decorative stitching of the shell was going to cover the sections in between, I simply created short little single runs to travel from one leg to the next.  Since these runs are connecting to the stitches before and after, you will want to turn off the ties if you have them set on your running stitch.  There is no reason to lock these little runs as we want them to be  a planned part of the design.

So here is the link to the Turtle files.

And if you have not yet voted for my blog before the cut off time, Please take a few moments to do so!  I would certainly appreciate it!  Thank you and enjoy!

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The post that I send a link to most often…. How to line up designs for re-hooping

I will admit that my reason for today’s post is to “make things easier for me”.  Smile with me – once you get to know me, you will find I am all about EASY – easy for me and easy for you!

I belong to quite a few machine embroidery groups on Facebook and one of the questions that I see asked quite often is how to line up multiple hoop designs such as 3 letter monograms or words/names using just a single position hoop.  I did a blog post on this a few years ago, and I teach a Craftsy class on it, I have a coupon for that class, and I have a free alignment line library for Embrilliance available from another post….so you can see ALL the work I have to do to find those posts that all relate to one another!  So as I was flying back from visiting family in CT last night I thought, “hmmm Lisa, why don’t you do a blog post with all that information in it in one place so you and everyone else can have all the information in one place”.

The most popular post on this topic is on how to add alignment lines to a design.  This technique can be done with any sized hoop and I created some screen captures of the steps I would take to use this technique for a 3 letter monogram.  For the complete original post, you can find it here: Original Post

step1 step2 Step3 Step4

In the original post, there is a link for a zipped file with alignment lines.  A few months later, Embrilliance came out with the first BX file, a library of alignment lines that could be added to any Embrilliance program.

AlignmentLibrary

This made it very easy for me – and everyone else – to add center crosshairs or alignment lines to any design.  In case you missed that blog post, here is the link to the original.

I really do like to create a stitch designs that are bigger than my hoop.  And it doesn’t matter if I have a 4×4, 5×7, 6×10 or 8×12 hoop – once you learn the technique, if you are like me, you will notice that a few things will happen:

1. The hoop size becomes irrelevant – does NOT even matter one bit anymore because you have software and can line up anything.

2. Because the hoop size is irrelevant….yes your embroidery gets bigger even when you get a bigger hoop 🙂  There really is no limit to what you can embroider as far as size goes.

3. You may find that it is easier to rehoop more often instead of splitting a design down the middle.

3iseasierthan2

For example, you could look at the size of the above design and see that it could be split in half – right down the middle of the third flower, in my opinion YUCK.  It would be so much easier to put the sun in one hoop, the flowers in a second and the bear in a third – keep all the designs together. When you use alignment lines between each overlapping section, no one will ever know that you only have a 5×7 hoop!

And if you want to learn from the ground up how to create big design layouts with any size hoop – check out my Craftsy class!  Here is a discount on the class which has 7 projects – all done with a small hoop (click on graphic below to go to the sale page).  The techniques can be applied to any size hoop.  I personally enjoy taking Craftsy classes – what I like about them is that I can watch them any time and as often as I want.  Asking questions is super easy – just pause the video, ask your question and you’ll get a personal answer.

So here is a link with a discount coupon (click on the graphic below) – and if you like my Facebook page, you will see that every so often I put up discount notices for other classes!

Title Card for Blog

So these are just a few of the blog posts I have done that talk about rehooping designs to create larger layouts.  I hope that even though they are repeats, you find it nice to have all the similar information brought together in one post 🙂

Enjoy!


Saving cut files for the Cameo, Scan ‘N Cut, & more for embroidery designs

Create with fabric cut using Silhouette Cameo - Essentials will save the cut files from your appliqué embroidery designs!

Create with fabric cut using Silhouette Cameo – Essentials will save the cut files from your appliqué embroidery designs!

I had mentioned in an early post that there was a simpler solution on the horizon for creating cut files for machine embroidery appliqué designs.  Well it has arrived!  The current version of Essentials software has some pretty nifty features and functions for existing appliqué embroidery designs and I just finished the video showing a quick overview of these functions.

Before I give you that link let me first talk about the purse shown to the left.  I’ve been reading about all these people who were embroidering monograms on straw floppy hats they had gotten at discount stores like DollarTree.  Ours did not have any but they did have these really cool circular placemats in all sorts of bright colors.  I picked up a few thinking I could bring out the Puffy Foam from its stash in my closet and try my hand with a swirly monogram.  Before I forget – this alphabet collection is from Rivermill Embroidery and stitches out LOVELY!

And then I thought about trimming those appliqué pieces in the hoop on a textured rather stiff surface like this straw placemat.  Yeah.  I’ve been doing this long enough to know there was not enough wine in my house to calm my nerves with that project! Even with my favorite Kai Scissors! But I knew Embrilliance was working on creating the cut files so I waited a week or so until I got the test version and HOLY SMOKES!  Embrilliance, Cameo and machine embroidery appliqué designs is a winning combination.  I’m in heaven.

And sure I can rather quickly create the cut file in the Studio software and double checking to make sure that it is the exact size and shape to match the embroidery design – but that’s only part of what makes this triple combination so perfect.  In Essentials, when you combine two designs together and over lap them, the Remove Hidden Stitches (RHS) function kicks in when you save the stitch file.  The software AUTOMATICALLY looks at the overlapped area and removes the stitches from the first design on the bottom during the save process.  And what is even better, is that this process is only done in the stitch file – what you will send to the machine.  Your original working file still has the complete designs.  Yes, if you want to tweak things and change them up, no need to start over – simply open your working file (has the BE extension), make your changes, and resave to the stitch file.

One of the potential lumps in an overlapped appliqué

So that’s all fine and dandy with traditional embroidery designs….but yes… this is also possible with appliqué designs – OR if you mix and match appliqué and traditional embroidery style designs!  In other software programs, and I’ve been doing it for years so its nothing new, you would have to open the combined designs and use the stitch editing function to select and delete those stitches underneath.  Again, not hard to do, just extra steps.  And you have to be careful with appliqué, is that you don’t want to remove the placement and material stitches when you start deleting things – then you get into trouble at the machine.

But what Brian Bailie of Embrilliance has done is developed a way for us to go in and tell the software “hey this is an appliqué design.  It has running stitches that are used to mark where the appliqué fabric goes, hold the appliqué fabric in place so you can trim around it, and then finish it off with a satin or other decorative stitch.  So now that you know that, Mr Essentials Software Program, when I choose to overlap these designs, you need to think of the region enclosed by the appliqué position running stitch as “filled with stitches” not this empty white space.  I want you to remove anything that is underneath just like you would if it was a filled stitch design”  Hey – I talk to my software and computers all the time so this does not seem like an unusual conversation to me 🙂

comparison of puffy foam vs none

Now removing the extra satin stitch from overlapped designs may not be that impressive to you.  So you have a little bit of overlapped satin stitches – eh no big deal!  Well you haven’t stitched with Puffy Foam yet have you!  This hit me when I was trying out colors on placemat number 1…the letter S does not have foam under the letters and looks rather choppy.  I was going for a tropical look so not only did the teal colored finishing stitch give me the pop I was looking for, but placing the puffy foam on top of the appliqué fabric and having the finishing satin go right over it really helped it stand out and make a statement.

And because I was using Essentials software, when I stitched the letter S first, where the designs overlapped, the satin had been removed — so there was no shiny bump in those areas – the satins were gone.

I use the Puffy Foam made by Sulky – it tears away very cleanly without pulling the stitches.  No I have not tried craft foam – I have enough of the original in my stash to host kindergarten arts and crafts day for a month so there is no need for me to try anything else.  Hey, it was on sale and its not like it will go bad!

Seriously, my stash has been in development for years.  I have been challenging myself to use fabric in my stash first so it has been shrinking – not as quickly as I would have liked, but its a work in progress.

Saving a Cut File in Essentials from an appliqué position shape

Saving a Cut File in Essentials from an appliqué position shape

So I saved my cut files just like the video shows – on the Applique Position tab, you choose Save as CutFile and in the Save as dialog choose which format you want to save to.  Now just so you know, a cut file is not a stitch file…and its not really a graphics file.  But I am so happy that the folks at Embrilliance figured out take the stitch file information and translate that in such a way that the cutting machine can create a shape that fits inside the stitched shape!  This is an exclusive feature that is being patented.  On top of that, there was a lot of conversations and working behind the scenes with the folks at Silhouette in order to actually create the Studio file.

And the software will also save an FCM file which is what is used by the Brother Scan ‘N Cut (SNC)  – save this file to a USB stick, put it in your SNC and pull it up to cut right there on the screen!  The other two formats are more universal – SVG and PLT.  If you have a cutting machine that uses or imports either one of these formats this is what you will want to save to!  The SVG format is super popular among those in the scrap booking industry.  No.  Just say No….I have to tell myself No every so often that I do not need to know more about scrap booking….I fear it can be just as addictive as machine embroidery and my stash does not need to go in that direction 🙂

So a lot of work went into making this easy to use function – so glad that we get to benefit from their hard work!  So are you interested in seeing the software in action with this neat feature?  Here is the link to the youtube video:

Check it out.  If you already own Essentials the update will be available (if it hasn’t been posted yet) from their website under the download link.

Yes this software works on either Mac or Windows and if you happen to own both computers, you can install the program on both without extra cost.

If you don’t own Essentials and it looks like something you might be interested in, why not check it out?  I don’t work for the company – I’ve been an independent educator for machine embroidery for well over 17 years.  However, I am an Embrilliance affiliate because I believe that this company offers an excellent product for the price and I am impressed with the innovative thinking that goes behind all the features and functions that are added to the programs.  12 built in fonts that stitch out well at various sizes, monograms or multiline text capabilities, resize designs with stitch recalculation by either pulling on the corners of the design to make the design “that big” or type in an accurate size, merge designs, remove hidden stitches, work with BX fonts so you can type names using fancy alphabets, sorts colors, converts to your favorite thread brand, print templates and color change sheets, split for the basic multi position hoops, switch between metric and inches with a simple button at the top of the screen, add a basting box and more — all this in one program with an easy to use interface.

ANYWAY – I’ll get off my soapbox for now 🙂  Have a great week – happy stitching!  Lisa SewBubbles

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

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Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!

Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!.


Something new to watch for in machine embroidery

Just imagine being able to modify embroidery designs without digitizing software

Just imagine being able to modify embroidery designs without digitizing software

For my last blog post for 2013 I’d like to share with you something new from Embrilliance machine embroidery software that I think is pretty exciting. And to top it all off, they are introducing this new type of embroidery design with some FREE design libraries.  Please continue reading – grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage because I’m going to get chatty and in the midst of all that chatter is going to be some useful information.  It might even spark some interest and ideas on what could be next on the horizon.  Don’t worry – you will get the links to the free stuff – but don’t you want to know why these designs are different than anything else out there?

And you really don’t want to miss out on the information about the FREE SOFTWARE that lets you play and save these designs to your embroidery machine.  Yes, you read that correctly – free software if you don’t already have Embrilliance….but I’m not going to get ahead of myself.  Did you get your beverage of choice yet?  I’ll be here when you get back!

As you see from the picture here, it looks like these are just your ordinary machine embroidery applique designs.  Well they are definitely not ordinary!  These are what we call “Moddies” or “user modify-able” embroidery designs.  I’ve been “modifying” embroidery designs for years with stitch editing software, what makes these so special?  Think about it…. you download an applique design and if you have a stitch file resizer you can make it bigger or smaller without too much trouble, you can move the pieces around like the leaves or petals, but you had better make sure you grab all the stitching lines when you move stuff else nothing will line up again.  And this isn’t always an easy task because applique designs don’t show a fill stitch in your editing software. Selecting all the pieces is not hard to do but you have to be careful and pay attention.  Sounds about right?  Well let me show you something cool……

First – what if yoFabric or noneu could see a fabric preview of the applique designs?  No, I’m not kidding and YES I said free software, hold your horses!  This was the coolest thing ever when I first saw it in EmbroideryWorks with the Accuquilt dies. (Embrilliance is made by the same company that makes the Designer’s Gallery software so if things look familiar….) Now you can have this function in the Moddies.  How cool is this to be able to actually see what the finished design will look like with a fabric preview!

Want to change the color of the fabric? all you have to do is click on the color chip for the finishing stitch (color #3 in your standard applique design) choose a different color and the fabric color is updated. The color chips I refer to are shown in the properties pane in the lower right hand side of the screen.

I saw this one feature and was sold but you may not be as easily impressed as I am ….so I will continue with the neat-o cool features of Moddie embroidery designs!

Your project - your choice!

Your project – your choice!

I’m not a huge fan of the “satin finishing stitch” for machine embroidery applique designs. I used to love to do machine applique with a blanket stitch way before I got my first embroidery machine.  It was too much work to get the satin to have a smooth curve so I stayed away from it on the sewing machine. Yes, the satin is forgiving because it covers the bloopers and raw edge so it is the finishing stitch of choice for most machine embroidery applique designs.  But for me, I love the E-Stitch and blanket stitch options.  WELL, just think if YOU had the ability to take that applique design and decide what type of finishing stitch it had!

Select the object and click on the Applique tab in the property pane (where the color chips were in the last picture).

YOU could choose to which finishing stitch to use on the selected object and YES YOU could choose to put satin on one and blanket on another!….and…you can choose the stitch settings like the width and length to match the size or look you are going for!  OK – now you have to admit seeing the flame applique with fabric looks pretty cool doesn’t it?  So much more visually descriptive than just lines of stitching, no?

all togetherSo what if you wanted to move some stuff around – like say add the leaves to the flower in different spots? or maybe take those petals on the flower and combine them to make a four leaf clover instead?  When you select the “object” in the object pane on the right top side, like the leaf for example, it is selected in the design page.  Look at the “color breaks” of this one object in the properties pane on the lower right.  HOLY SMOKES!  All three sets of stitches – the placement, the tackdown the finishing stitch – they are all selected at one time so you can move this little leaf all together wherever you want it in the design page!  OH and you see that little blue circle in the upper right corner of the selection?  That lets you rotate the selected object!  All together – at one time.  OH and see the black handles on the object?  That lets you resize the selected object — all together!

And just as if you were using a digitizing program and creating this yourself with stitch properties…..when you make these modifications to the “moddie design”….wait for it……the stitches are recalculated based on the new shape/size/properties you chose.  So YES, a shape with a blanket stitch going around the edge will actually have more perpendicular stitches added!  This does NOT happen when you simply resize an ordinary applique design with a stitch file resizer like BuzzSize, Embird or even Embrilliance!  This is a function of the design file itself that is activated and accessible in the Embrilliance software.  This happens because this library of designs are Moddies – the latest greatest thing to hit the machine embroidery world.

OK, I know you have heard enough from me about this and I’m sure you want to go play and have some fun 🙂  I did say the designs were free and that you could play with them in free software, so here are the details – I didn’t say here is the catch!  There is no catch!  This design library is free – the Express mode software is free and here is what you need to do to get it.

FIRST, if you already own an Embrilliance customizing program – Essentials, AlphaTricks, Enthusiast or DRK – all you have to do is download the BX file and drag and drop it onto your program and it will install the library files.

SECOND, if you do NOT have Embrilliance software you can still play with these designs using Embrilliance Express mode software.  It is a limited functioning program – it doesn’t have a serial number.  What it allows you to do is use BX files that you have – like purchased alphabet designs in the BX format become keyboard fonts or these moddie designs can be utilized and saved to a stitch file for your machine.

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website!

To get the Moddies, you will want to go to the Embrilliance website, click on the User’s Forum link in the left column and choose the SHARE! forum.  You will see a post made on Dec 24th 2013 by Lisa SewBubbles (that’s me) and you will want to click on that post.

I would highly ….no, strongly recommend that you read this forum post as well because it gives you even MORE information about how to install and access the designs…. with pretty pictures!  And once you read that forum post you will land right at the download link for the moddie library!

If you do not have Embrilliance customizing software and need to get Embrilliance Express mode, you will want to go to the downloads page on the Embrilliance website and select the download for your operating system.  Oh, did I happen to mention that this FREE software will run on EITHER a Mac or a Windows computer, just like the full versions!  Really cool stuff going on at the Embrilliance website!

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

This is what the Downloads page looks like – do not choose the demonstration version but rather select the program here.  When you download the program, install it and open the program, you are prompted for a serial number.  You get a serial number if you purchase the program so simply choose Done to close the serial number dialog box and you will be informed that you are now running in Express mode. It is a limited function program that allows you to use BX files you have purchased or downloaded.  You will do this each time you open the program when you are running Express Mode.

And just think of the possibilities with Embrilliance!  Using the moddie library design and Embrilliance Express mode, you too can create the following design in a few minutes.  All I have to do now is go to File > Save Stitch file as….save the design to my USB and put it in the machine to stitch.  How cool is that!

The sky is the limit!

The sky is the limit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time!  Happy New Year!  May 2014 bring you health happiness and lots of smiles.

Lisa


Applique with AlphaTricks

As I am getting ready to write this week’s blog, I realized that I forgot to post this one!  Silly me — too much going on this summer with wildfires in Colorado, visitors and traveling!  No worries – here is the post on the kitty bowl placemats that I created from a bargain I got at the Dollar Store!

Kitty Appliques from www.ADesignbyLyn.com

Kitty Appliques from http://www.ADesignbyLyn.com

First the designs are part of an adorable set of applique kitty designs that were purchased from A Design by Lyn.  I brought the designs into Embrilliance AlphaTricks and added lettering using imported fonts.  This technique is shown in the following video I created and posted to the BriTon Leap YouTube channel.

Once the designs were created and saved, I was ready to stitch them onto the placemats.  As I mentioned, these were a real bargain at the Dollar Store.  If they were $1 a piece, that would be a bargain, but these for 5 for $1 so they really were a great deal.  I know, five is an odd number for a set of placemats, but for my purposes I wasn’t using them as a set so I didn’t care that the dye lots were quite off in each color.  In addition to the colors being a little off, they were not the most on-grain or squared up placemats!  Using a template for placement was necessary and printing is available in the Embrilliance programs.

Printed template from Embrilliance software

Printed template from Embrilliance software

So once I had my crosshair marked I was ready to stitch the design.  This is an applique design, so it stitched the placement line for the first applique fabric section.  I used a bamboo felt for the kitty body and held it in place with a quick spray of Mettler Web Bond adhesive spray – remember less is more so a quick spray goes a long way!

Trimming away the fabric from the stitching line is a BREEZE using the Kai 5130DC blunted tip scissors.  The bend in the handle goes over the hoop very easily.  The blunted/polished tip stops the point from shearing the base fabric and like all KAI scissors, they are sharp all the way to the point!

Kai scissors model 5130DC blunted

Kai scissors model 5130DC blunted

So, that’s the stitching part of the placemats!  For more information on the software used, please click on my link here in this blog post.

Happy Stitching!  Lisa

Click Here for information on AlphaTricks and all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Click Here for information on AlphaTricks and all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!